The best (unofficial) bulletin boards of West Sonoma County reside in an informal location, resting on a local cattle rancher’s fenceline at the intersection of two major backcountry roads. It’s where we get our local events news. There one can learn (at a glance) about everything from Granger hoedowns and 4H shows to fundraising dinners.
It was the latter which got my hopes up (and my heart rate going) when I espied an open invitation from Ducks Unlimited to attend their Annual Fundraising Dinner.
Since I am an avowed fan of ducks (dead or alive), such evoked a Pavlov-like reaction as I salivated over signage, envisioning a banquet room virtually packed with duck dinners and the hopeful vision of ‘all you can eat’ attached to the process. Even if the incongruity of proceeds going to preserve duck habitats was negated by the duck dinners I envisioned on the menu (I mean gee: what ELSE could be served up by Ducks Unlimited?? The name kinda says it all, no??)
Sadly, I was mistaken. All that huntin’ and shootin’ for the benefit banquet apparently was limited to more mundane domesticated creatures (chicken and cow, to be specific), while the coveted ducks were obviously reserved for the deep freezers of the Ducks Unlimited membership (…yet another reason for joining up!).
Luckily I uncovered this sad fact in advance of my donation, having eagerly phoned to reserve my space at the event and also having mentioned my mouth-watering anticipation of the Duck Dinner certain to evolve from a Ducks Unlimited donation banquet.
There was a LOT of astounded silence on my part when Ducky Danny had to emphasize (three times) that duck was, mysteriously, NOT on the menu. And Ducky Danny wasn’t feeling so very duckie either when the conversation came to an abrupt end without a definitive answer to my burning questions of (a) if ducks were UNLIMITED, why not spare a few hundred for the annual fundraiser, Scrooge McDuck? and (b) if ducks were being hunted by DU…and not for said fundraiser…WHERE WERE ALL THE BODIES GOING?? I sense a mystery, here; especially as my initial P.I. detective skills were brought to an abrupt halt by the slam of a phone receiver (tip: not mine…)
I suppose I ALSO need to be suspect, then, of this week’s signage, posted by the California Deer Conservation Society (…as though deer needed conserving in our neck ‘o the woods, where they’ve learned some lessons from our local bunnies and are breeding up a virtual storm) touting a Fundraising Dinner for THEIR coffers. Just as certainly there will be NO venison at table, despite the dinner’s sponsorship by the local NRA and despite the over-abundance of local meat, fresh on the hoof.
Were I President, that would be one of my first orders of business: demand Truth in Signage. Any Ducks Unlimited dinner therefore MUST feature the main course of which the group’s name depends. California Deer, the same. If the Turtle Rescue Society wants to sponsor a dinner, for goodness sake take care of the aging and terminally ill with a huge pot ‘o turtle soup.
Until these changes are instigated, I personally plan on attending NO local fundraising dinners. It’s all chicken, chicken, chicken…neatly belaying the positive-sounding promise of Ducks Unlimited. When the group lives up to its name, then – and only then – will I proffer my donation and eagerly attend.
It is also humbly suggested that simple name changes may result in a higher degree of donation success. For example, to which would you rather donate: Ducks Unlimited or Duck DINNERS Unlimited??
No duckie dinner, no dinero.
I rest my case…